How The Game System Works
The above diagram shows how a local game is processed. When host is
processing a game turn it reads data in the yig file plus trn files in the same
directory as the yig file. In the above example the host is reading the files in the
game 1 directory which is a sub directory of the univ directory. After the host
run has finished RST files will be left in the game 1 directory.
If the planets4 program is running it will detect that new RST files have
appeared in the game1 directory. Planets4 will make a copy of the RST files and
place them in its own slot 1 directory.
The players can then use planets4 to open the RST files and play their turns.
When all their moves have been completed the players can use the planets4 files
screen to make new TRN files. Planets4 places a copy of the TRN files in the
war\slot1 directory and sends a copies of the file to host`s univ\game1
Remember, the TRN file is the file from the player that holds all the new
orders and commands. The RST file is from the host, it goes to the player and holds
all the data the player needs to see. The YIG file contains all the data for
the game, it is the game universe, it belongs to the host.
The host and planets4 programs can run at the same time, they will not
interfere with one another.
The master program is used to make new games in the univ\ sub directory in one of the game
Remote Game (Play By Email)
The game universe exists in the univ\ sub directory in one of the game
directories. The universe in contained in the YIG file. New game universes are created
using the master program .
When host runs it makes new RST files in the univ\game1 sub directory. Host interface has the power to send the RST files to players using the SMTP email
protocol. If the host has not been configured to send the RST file by email you will
have to use another method to send the RST files to the player.
When a player receives the RST as an email attachments they will need to get
the RST file into a download directory. Files mailed to AOL users will end up
with the RST files in the AOL download directory. Players using Microsoft
Outlook will have to drag the file (or save the file) to a download directory. The
download directory can be any folder on your computer. Some people like to use
a folder that a created on the desktop as the download directory. Saving the
incoming RST file is as simple as dragging the RST file from the email client to
the folder on the desktop.
Please keep in mind that Microsoft Outlook stores the incoming attached files
in a database that the programs on your system can not normally see. The
attached files have to be turned into normal files before planets4.exe can access it.
To get planets4.exe to begin to recognize the RST files: drag one the incoming
RST file onto the running Planets4.exe program. Planets 4 will from then on
watch the download directory for new RST files. If it should ever detect a new on
there it will move the RST file to the correct war\slot automatically.
Planets4 supports up to 12 different games at once. You can use the planets4 files
screen to set all the file paths and email addresses it will use.
The player unpacks their RST file and plays their turn. When they are finished
they make a TRN file. Planets4.exe has the power to email the TRN file using
the SMTP Email protocol back to the host computer. The TRN will arrive at the
host`s computer in the host`s Email box.
When Host is ready to start a host run it runs the mailgrab program. The job
of the mailgrab program is to grab attached TRN files from the Email client and
move the files to the univ\ directory. The one that comes with host is
designed to work with Microsoft Outlook 2000.
If you the host is using a different Email client they will have to use some
other method to gather the incoming TRN files. If the host is using an Email
client that has a download directory, like AOL, all that you need to do is enter
the path to the download directory into the host interface.
The host interface takes all the TRN files that have been collected in the
univ\ directory and sorts them into the correct game directories.
The host then runs using the YIG file and all the TRN files to make new RST
files and the whole process repeats.
Also See: Files